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Scaled-down & Leveled-up Recipes!

Photos & recipes by Kate Eckblad

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

The beauty of this recipe is that it is completely adaptable to your preferences or ingredients you have on hand; the author used Manchego cheese due to Covid circumstances. Serve as a side, or a wholesome entree. This could be vegetarian (or vegan if you omit the cheese and butter). You can add more mushrooms or totally skip them. I’ve also topped this with chopped, sundried tomatoes for more acidity balance. The components can be made ahead and stored on the counter, and then assembled and heated in the oven when space.

Shopping list at the Market:
Squash- for entree, plan on 1/4-1/3 acorn squash per person. For side dish, less.
Mushrooms- 8oz or more
Leeks/Onions- 1 medium leek or medium red onion at minimum, add more if you'd prefer.
Thyme- fresh if available
Soft goat cheese

From the pantry:
Olive oil
Dried thyme (if fresh not available)
White wine, sherry, olive brine, or red wine vinegar

Roasted Squash:
Preheat oven to 450℉. Wash the outside of acorn squash (peel is edible and delicious when cooked). Cut in half through the stem and scoop out seeds. Cut each half into thirds or quarters.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash wedges on sheet, then drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt. Use pastry brush or hands to spread the oil to as much surface as possible. Position the pieces cut side down. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning the pieces to the other cut side after 15 mins. Should be tender when inserting a fork. Set aside.

Wild Rice:
Rinse 1c wild rice in a strainer under cold water.
Add rice and 4c water to sauce pan, plus 1tsp salt, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, adjusting until you have a gentle simmer and then cover for 25-40 minutes,
depending on the variety. You’ll know to check the rice when you see grains start to curl.
Check for doneness, could take up to another 15 minutes until each grain is tender.
Drain over a strainer and return to pan. Adjust salt (and add a generous pat of butter! and then some more. Olive oil is great, too.) Cover and set aside.

Sautéed Mushrooms:
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. When shimmering, add thinly sliced (and thoroughly washed) leeks. (Shallots or onion works well also). Stir occasionally for ~10 mins until they soften. Add 4 big sprigs of thyme, or 1/2tsp dried. Add 8oz + of mushrooms, sliced or torn, and 1/2tsp salt. Sauté for 10 mins or until moisture appears in pan then evaporates. Turn heat to med-low, and once the mushrooms start sticking/get gooey, deglaze with a generous splash
of white wine, sherry, olive brine or red wine vinegar. Check for salt. Add more if needed.
Turn off heat and assess the quantity. Either fold the mushroom mixture into the wild rice or if you’d like a larger ratio of mushrooms like myself, fold some of the wild rice into your mushrooms.


Lay squash pieces on a baking/serving dish, cut sides up, and spoon wild rice/mushroom mixture over (~1/3c per section).
Put in 350℉ oven (or higher if it was already in use) for 15 mins.
Remove, and top with crumbled goat cheese, then put back in oven for another 10 mins.

Drizzle with a
little honey for an extra touch!

Kale Salad
You’ll want to double this recipe if you are feeding more than just yourself. This is a perfect compliment to the roasted dishes of a dinner spread, providing freshness, vibrancy and acidity. Great to make ahead. Just store covered in the refrigerator until serving.

Shopping list at the Market:
1 bunch Lacinato kale (or more because you’ll want to repeat for leftovers)
Aged cheese (similar to Parmesan or Pecorino Romano)

From the pantry:
Olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
1/4c dried fruit (cherries or golden raisins, or cranberries)
1/4c pine nuts (or almond slivers) omit for nut allergy

Remove the thick ribs from the kale.
Stack all the strips of kale atop each other and thinly slice into 1/8” ribbons. Wash and drain/spin
Cut a garlic clove in half, and mince it finely. Then mash with the side of your knife, adding a sprinkle of salt and chopping then mashing again until you have a paste. Scrape up and into a mixing bowl.
Add the juice (~2T) and zest of half a lemon, 2tsp honey, 2T olive oil and 1/2tsp salt to the mixing bowl.
Whisk until blended/emulsified. Taste. Should be concentrated. Then add in dried fruit and stir.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for ~5 mins until just aromatic and lightly brown.
Remove from heat.
Add kale ribbons to mixing bowl and mix well, either with 2 wooden spoons or hands.
Fold in cooled nuts, and finely grate 1/4c parmesan-like cheese over top. Toss and serve.

Prime Rib Roast
A simple prep that highlights the incredible quality of Johnson Family Pastures meat. The initial high temp sears the outside, and then the lower temp slowly cooks the meat uniformly while not overcooking.

Shopping list at the Market:
Prime rib roast (~5lbs, bone-in) **Boneless roast needs to be tied with butcher tie so that it is uniform thickness. And it would be done in less than an hour.**

From the pantry:
Salt and pepper
2-4 cloves garlic
1c red wine, stock or water
Bring the roast to room temp at least about 2 hours before cooking, and salt generously at this time, rotating to thoroughly salt ever crack and crevasse.

Heat oven to 450℉. Place the roast in a large roasting pan (or baking dish would work), bone side down, and sprinkle a bit more salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Peel a couple garlic cloves and cut into slivers. Using a thin-tipped knife, pierce the roast all over, shoving slivers of garlic into the holes as you go.

Place the roast in oven and cook for 15 mins. Then turn the heat
down to 350℉ and roast for about another hour. Check the temp in a few places with a meat thermometer. Rare is 125℉. If you’d like closer to medium or medium rare, cook another 5-10 minutes.

Pull the roast at a maximum of 150℉.
Remove the meat from the pan, set on a plate and tent with tinfoil. If using a roasting pan, drain off all but a few tablespoons of fat, and place pan on a burner with medium-high heat.

Add your wine/stock and cook while stirring up all the brown pits on bottom of pan until the liquid reduces in half, about 8 minutes.

Slice the roast and serve with some of the reduction drizzled over and the remaining in a serving dish.